This morning as I wound my way around town, I noticed live Christmas trees for sale in Seaside on the corner of Holladay and 12th. What’s better than the smell of a live tree? The trees reminded me Santa Claus is coming and it’s time to think of gifts, both to give and to receive.

After decades of gift giving, I’ve decided you can’t go wrong with gift certificates or sweets. In an effort to help readers find the best sweets, for months I’ve been doing research, eating my way through bags of fudge, caramels, salt water taffy, and almond bark. Two amazing handmade candy companies are located right here in Candyland, er, Seaside. We always send my father-in-law in Michigan candied ginger which they make at Bruce’s Candy Kitchen located in the Seaside Outlet Mall. If you require shipping, contact their Cannon Beach store. I love Phillips Candies located on Broadway in the heart of town. I’m partial to their candied grapefruit slices and their fudge. Schwietert’s is pretty amazing too. If you are a fudge lover, try the sampler, also available at the very sweetly stocked Sweet Shop in Gearhart.

Possibly the most conversation-starting stocking stuffer can be found at By The Way in Gearhart where they appear to be the exclusive retailer of Gearhart Elk Poop. It’s not poop. It’s a chocolate, nut and toffee confection shaped into, uh, pellets. They are ridiculously tasty. It’s hard not to gulp down the whole bag despite the name. This is a perfect gift to shock your Gearhart friends who either love or hate the elk.

I’m all about gift certificates. Seaside Massage and Spa is offering gift certificates for all their services including couples massage, custom facials, and the full monty of waxing menus. Ladies, surprise your sweetheart with a French bikini wax; gentleman, surprise your significant other with a chest or back wax. Or just get that clump of hair out of your ears. Seriously. Stop in to purchase a gift certificate at their location at 810 Broadway in Seaside, or book a soothing appointment for yourself at

Deborah Albrecht is considered by many, including other massage professionals, to be one of the most intuitive and gifted massage therapists in the area. Serving the north coast since 1998, she says it’s her pleasure to help people get more comfortable. Call 541-507-7780 to book an appointment or inquire about gift certificates.

Acupuncture is a great way to ease pain and reduce stress; in years past I’ve made it a point to get acupuncture a few weeks in advance of Christmas just to help me deal with stress. I’ve learned that even if you don’t put up a tree or make the Christmas dinner, the holiday, while joyful, has a lot of moving parts. Moving parts give me a migraine.

If you feel the same way, treat yourself to a session with Katherine Stewart who works with kids, pregnant women, adults, and people like me, i.e. journalists suffering from sciatica. She recently moved locations in Seaside from Holladay Drive to 600 Broadway, Suite 8. Book your next day appointment online at

Now about that live Christmas tree.

Hurry to get one while they last.

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